How networks of local political actors build the pan-Alpine region
7. Socio-political significance of the pan-Alpine region
297 7. Socio-political signiﬁcance of the pan-Alpine region The previous chapter focused on the way pan-Alpine networks are performing in the Alpine region. I explained how those networks function by presenting their different facets and respective challenges. As discussed, networks of local political actors are among the most interesting and innovative established structures giving concrete sig- niﬁcance to the pan-Alpine project. In this chapter, I specify some elements to judge the socio-political signiﬁcance of the pan-Alpine project. This corresponds to the fourth shape of Paasi’s regional in- stitutionalization theory, i. e. the “establishment of the region”. It is worth recalling that the other three steps are: the assumption of a territorial shape, the development of a symbolic shape and the estab- lishment of institutions (Paasi, 1986). Networks, by deﬁnition, combine two basic elements: at least two points in space and a “line” connecting them. A phone call between the mayor of Budoia and the mayor of Mäder can be considered a way of performing a network. In theory, networks can, theoretically, work without the intervention of any traditional administrative enti- ty: Budoia’s mayor does not have to ask for authorization from Rome in order to get in touch with his colleague in Austria. However, the question can be raised whether, how and in which measure networks are really free from any inﬂuence of the state apparatus and can decide independently on the future developments of the pan-Alpine region. The analysis on this topic can...
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